I went to Figo restaurant with high expectations – after all, Toronto Life Magazine named it #8 in their top 20 new restaurants for 2016. It is located at 295 Adelaide Street West on the ground floor of the Pinnacle condo, on the South West corner of Adelaide and John Street. It is another collaboration of maestros Hanif Harji and Charles Kabouth. They always seem to know the latest and hippest trends in restaurants.

They snatched Chef Anna Chen from one of my favourite Toronto restaurants, Buca Yorkville. The restaurant itself is very attractive, with a modern, chic decor. The room is finished in soft muted tones with a lovely painted ceiling of roses. There are large glass windows, polished concrete floors (thus a noisy room), gothic wine cabinets and a large bar and an open kitchen through an arched entryway.

To me the first impression of a restaurant is important, but the evening started off negatively as the hostess was rather sour and gave no eye contact. The front of the house is just as important as the kitchen. She also would not seat us where we wanted, but a waiter was kind enough to move us.

The menu reads beautifully with a lot of interesting choices. There are a selection of house ricotta, salads, starters, pizza, pasta, seafood and meat selections. There are also four side dishes as well.
We opted for the zucchini fritti which were done in a tempura-like batter with a lemon crema fresca and drizzled with honey. The presentation was lovely but they were a little too greasy for my taste. However, we still found them addictive. The arugula salad was supposed to come with warm mushrooms but were not warm at all. For some reason they buried them underneath the lettuce instead of featuring them. There was a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese and it was dressed in a balsamic dressing. I would skip this dish as it was nothing special. Next we tried the mushroom pizza, with caramelized onions (but ours were anemic) potato, watercress and truffle oil. This was from the wood burning oven. It was nice but not a memorable pizza. I didn’t love the crust. I also personally am more fond of a thin crust like the one at Buca than a Neapolitan crust. We asked for a takeout box for the leftover pizza as we left 3/4’s of it. Instead of a pizza box, they threw all the pieces on top of one another in a small Chinese takeout kind of box?? Moving on, the bucatini with a wild boar ragu was quite good. The pasta was a little too al dente though. The scallop dish with taggiasche olives and preserved tomato were nice. I liked the crunchy topping. There are only 3 to an order, so if this is your main course be forewarned it may not be filling enough for you.

We ended with a panna cotta topped with an elderflower gelee. It sounded like a good combo but it was rather bland. However, the consistency of the dish was very good.

The wine list was mostly Italian focused although there was one page with some American wines, the least expensive bottle starting at $75 and moving upwards from there.

Our server Emily was friendly and attentive.

It sounds like I disliked the restaurant, but I didn’t. Actually, it is one of the better places in the entertainment district, but it was underwhelming and fell a bit short for me. I would still go back and I would try it for brunch as well. It has the potential to get much better and I hope it does. And it doesn’t seem to detract from customers – the place was buzzing on a weeknight.

Happy dining,
Shanea

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